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Wastewater Publications and Resources



Print Material Compendium of Information on Alternative Onsite Septic System Technology in Massachusetts

Compendium of Information on Alternative Onsite Septic System Technology in Massachusetts

This Compendium is maintained by the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment under a grant from The Masssachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 319(b). The mention of any product, contractor, or method within this compendium does not constitute approval or endorsement. This project is part of the County’s Alternative Onsite Septic System Initiave.

         
Publication Contaminants of Emerging Concern from Onsite Septic Systems

Contaminants of Emerging Concern from Onsite Septic Systems

Many rural areas of the United States continue to rely on onsite septic systems as a permanent means of wastewater treatment and disposal. This is also the case in Barnstable County (Cape Cod) which is designated by EPA as having a sole-source aquifer and where over 80% of the wastewater treatment is performed by onsite septic systems. To assess the implications of onsite wastewater disposal in this are where septic systems are hydraulically connected with drinking water sources and aquatic habitats, we have compiled information of the state of our understanding relative to the impact of certain contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) that originate in wastewater. These include pharmaceuticals (antibiotics, hormone therapies, cancer therapies, etc.), personal care products (deodorants, shampoos, insect repellents, etc.) and certain by-products of manufactured products (phenolic surfactants, fire retardants, etc.)

         
Publication The Second Compendium of Information on Alternative Onsite Septic System Technology in Massachusetts

The Second Compendium of Information on Alternative Onsite Septic System Technology in Massachusetts

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Publication Comparison of Aggregate and Aggregate-Free Leaching Trenches in Onsite Septic Systems

Comparison of Aggregate and Aggregate-Free Leaching Trenches in Onsite Septic Systems

In recent years, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has been petitioned by vendors of aggregate-free leaching components to allow reduced sizing compared with standard aggregate-laden leaching systems. While university studies have been used by some industry representatives to substantiate claims that there are negligible environmental consequences to this allowance, there have been no full-scale controlled studies to identify and resolve underlying issues relating to appropriate size reduction allowances prior to this study. This paper describes both preliminary work funded by the Environmental Protection Agency 319(b) Program and a full-scale pilot project completed with supplemental funding from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and involving input from stakeholders from around the United States. The effort, coordinated though NSF, continues today to develop a testing protocol for evaluating the claims of manufacturers of aggregate-free leaching technology.

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